Epic in scope, brilliant in imaginative vision, the three unforgettable books that constitute the Tales of the Otori are available in one beautifully designed boxed set I read the whole trilogy and its sequel and then prequel I can t remember now which book I like most of all Maybe the first book Across the nightingale floor Or the sequel in which there were so manynew characters.I don t know how to describe these books, which genre or category they fall in But I remember crying and feeling angry and building up my hope and worrying about what would happen next I was properly living in that world of Takeri and Kaede for the whole time reading 5 boo I read the whole trilogy and its sequel and then prequel I can t remember now which book I like most of all Maybe the first book Across the nightingale floor Or the sequel in which there were so manynew characters.I don t know how to describe these books, which genre or category they fall in But I remember crying and feeling angry and building up my hope and worrying about what would happen next I was properly living in that world of Takeri and Kaede for the whole time reading 5 books.Lots of debate about should the author use Japanese terms or not Well, I read enough Japanese mangas to be familiar with Japanese cultures and landscapes, I know many Japanese terms, and I enjoyed it that every word except names in these books was English not Japanese, I m reading English literacy after all I NEVER read fantasy but took someone s recommendation and read all three of these books Loved them They take place in Asia and areenchantment than fantasy Suitable for YA readers and folks my age Pure delight This was my second time reading this series, and I ve done it slowly over the course of the last 5 weeks In many ways, it is a deeply imperfect series There is a lot of telling without showing, a lot of regressive ideas about relationships it actually employs love at first sight , and some conflicting messages However, there s also an irresistible charm to this series I m glad to have read it again After reading the awful followup, The Harsh Cry of the Heron , and the disturbing and lac This was my second time reading this series, and I ve done it slowly over the course of the last 5 weeks In many ways, it is a deeply imperfect series There is a lot of telling without showing, a lot of regressive ideas about relationships it actually employs love at first sight , and some conflicting messages However, there s also an irresistible charm to this series I m glad to have read it again After reading the awful followup, The Harsh Cry of the Heron , and the disturbing and lackluster prequel series The Tale of Shikanoko , I wasn t sure I d ever go back to Hearn This series didn t lose its charm though, even after reading her followup novels I have Heaven s Net is Wide on its way in the mail, and that will round off my re read of Hearn I absolutely love this series I read them as a teen and was recommending them to somebody who likes fantasy and saw there were now 5 stories in the series so had to re read As great as I remembered I stormed through all 5 books and didn t know what to do with myself afterwards. I read all five books in this series in just a week It s a great vision into a culture other than my own The strong female characters aren t just like men the author clearly acknowledges both our similarities and our differences Well done. loved it so muchto read again I really enjoyed this series Don t take it too seriously and enjoy the read. japenese showed how hard Japenise medieval life was for peasants and change from peasant to warlord status Also enjoyed the love story between Takeo and Lady Keade Also enjoyed the powers he inherits from his bilogical family on his fathers side.endings of all storys are bitter sweet be warned I found much of the first of the Tales of the Otori series Across the Nightingale Floor completely compelling Hearn sets the action in a supposedly fictionalized version of feudal Japan, however the characters and culture are so firmly placed in the world of ninja and geisha that world building doesn t actually seem necessary or indeed to have taken place It is as if Hearn has set the series in feudal Japan while giving herself an out for making mistakes of course I could just not know I found much of the first of the Tales of the Otori series Across the Nightingale Floor completely compelling Hearn sets the action in a supposedly fictionalized version of feudal Japan, however the characters and culture are so firmly placed in the world of ninja and geisha that world building doesn t actually seem necessary or indeed to have taken place It is as if Hearn has set the series in feudal Japan while giving herself an out for making mistakes of course I could just not know enough to spot the integral differences between medieval Japan and the world of the Otori.This established setting allows Hearn to rid the first book of almost all exposition about location This is what I found so compelling about Across the Nightingale Floor I didn t have to wade through long, involved description about how a place looks, but got to experience it through the characters reactions I m not at all visual so I tend to flick through any expository writing that containsthan two sentences of description I much prefer to understand the setting through a character s reaction to the placeof a kinesthetic explanation that provides a feeling rather than knowing exactly where the pillars are in a room Unfortunately this lack of adjective laden description faded away by the end of the first book and by the end of the third book in the trilogy I was skipping hunks of waffle about the way various locations looked.Throughout the trilogy Herne uses two points of view The lead male character, Takeo, is written in the first person and, as the key active participant in the story, his chapters have an immediacy and life that is really appealing The chapters featuring Kaede, the lead female character, are written in third person narrative In Across the Nightingale Floor I was not immediately bothered by the huge contrast between the two styles, particularly because Kaede was an active, energetic, modern revisionist type heroine Swapping between perspectives was jarring to me but it didn t lessen my enjoyment particularly.However, as Kaede falls in love with Takeo, she becomesanda passive participant in the story She is always an object of desire but in the second and third books she becomes unable to combat this in any meaningful way in plot terms Because Kaede s point of view chapters are written in third person I, as a reader, got further and further away from any immediate understanding of her motivation and character Herne kept telling me what she was thinking, not showing me and this made meandannoyed and I ended up disliking a character I had really enjoyed in the first book of the trilogy I think if Herne had chosen to keep the point of view in the tight first person and had Takeo as the sole narrator the books would have been stronger andenjoyable By writing Kaede s chapters in the third person, the marginalization and disempowerment of her character that could have been seen only as a result of the historical and cultural setting were increased and given tacit approval by the author By the end of Grass for his Pillow I was truly pissed off with this narrative technique and if I hadn t already purchased Brilliance of the Moon I probably wouldn t have bothered reading it